Leftover fudge is a great problem to have! This sweet treat is pure indulgence and it’s unlikely that the average person with a sweet tooth will have any lying around after a day or two. But if you’re baking or buying in bulk, you may be wondering, does fudge go bad?
Because of the high sugar content, fudge doesn’t go bad and can last a lot longer than you’d expect. Sugar inhibits bacterial growth, so your only concern with fudge is that the quality will decline over time. Most fudge will last around two weeks at room temperature.
Shelf Life Of Fudge
There are hundreds of varieties and flavors of fudge – some may feature inclusions such as dried fruit or nuts, which can affect shelf life.
Commercially produced fudge is likely to last longer than homemade fudge, as it may include preservatives. If you’re buying packaged fudge, check the best by date for guidance, although fudge is likely to last far beyond this when stored correctly
- Room temperature – if stored correctly, fudge is best eaten within two weeks.
- Refrigerated – with proper storage, your fudge should be good to eat for at least two or three weeks.
- Frozen – although fudge will stay “good” indefinitely in the freezer, we recommend consuming it within three months for best quality.
How To Tell If Fudge Is Bad
Fudge has several risk factors, including oxidation of chocolate, if it is included in the recipe. Oxidized chocolate will have a white powder on the outside but is fine to eat.
Other risks include the fats and nuts in fudge going rancid. If you plan to store your fudge long-term, freezing it can prevent any added ingredients from turning bad.
Plain fudge with no inclusions won’t mold or go bad. It’s more likely that it will dry out or soften – depending on how it is stored. The following are some indicators that it might be time to say goodbye to your fudge.
- Dry texture – over time, fudge will start to dry out, even when stored in the fridge. Crumbling or cracks around the edges are fine, but if your fudge has developed deep cracks and is crumbling throughout, it may not be so enjoyable. The creamy texture will have altered.
- Soft texture – although fudge won’t melt when exposed to hotter temperatures, it will soften and can also absorb moisture from the air. Soggy fudge is still edible, but not quite so satisfying! Placing soft fudge in a cooler area may help it become more solid.
- Although it is unlikely for regular fudge to go moldy or bad, contamination or extra ingredients may turn. Check for discoloration, fuzziness, sliminess, rancid odors or tastes – if in doubt, throw the fudge out.
Can Bad Fudge Make You Sick?
If we say that fudge has gone bad, this will usually only indicate that it has lost some of its delicious “fudgy” qualities and won’t be as good to eat. Old fudge remains safe to consume, even if it has gone dry or soggy.
The exception may be when fudge has added extras like nuts, which may develop mold, or other ingredients which may turn. As with consumption of any mold, there is a risk of getting sick over the long term. However; in the small amounts you would consume in fudge, you should be fine.
How To Store Fudge
Moisture, heat, and air can all compromise the quality of fudge, so it is best stored in a cool, dark place in an airtight container or bag.
If you have purchased fudge in a sealed bag, it will be fine popped into the pantry. But after opening – or if it comes in a cardboard box or paper bag – you’ll need to transfer it to something airtight.
Fudge should be kept cool; if it sits in sunlight it will soften, and any source of warmth will increase spoiling of the fats in fudge and any nuts included.
Should fudge be refrigerated? The greatest risk to fudge in the refrigerator is dehydration. Keep fudge in airtight containers and wrappings (preferably multiple wrappings) to reduce the risk of it becoming dry or developing a powdery film.
Wax paper is a great surface on which to store fudge as wax paper doesn’t cling. Your fudge will maintain its flavor if you build it an airtight envelope as follows:
- Cut the fudge into small pieces and arrange them close together on a piece of wax paper twice as large as your pan of fudge.
- Set the fudge in the middle so you can wrap the wax paper over it.
- Once they’re settled, wrap the wax paper up and over the fudge to completely seal it. Roll the wax paper for an airtight seal.
- Make a similarly sized envelope with aluminum foil and double seal the fudge. Should you open the envelope to serve (or sneak) some of this delicious treat, be sure to reseal both the wax paper and the aluminum foil.
Can You Freeze Fudge?
Yes, but fudge should be frozen prior to cutting. Storing it in larger blocks reduces the chances of it drying out as quickly.
Double wrap your fudge in plastic and aluminum foil, then wrap this whole bundle in a freezer bag.
Squeeze out as much air as you can for a snug seal. When you’re ready to thaw your fudge, thaw it in the refrigerator to reduce excess condensation which can turn your fudge to soup.
Once it’s thawed completely in the freezer, you can bring it to room temperature before cutting, then either serve at room temperature or return it to the refrigerator.
The question of how to store fudge seems to always return to one truth: air exposure will negatively impact the flavor of fudge. To keep it moist and creamy, keep it sealed.